Mike Trout is about to become the ninth #2 hitter with 100 RBI

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Mike Trout is having another MVP-caliber season and a litany of statistics will tell you that. RBI is somewhere around 15th on the list of statistics that illustrate just how good Trout has been. Trout’s league-leading total of 100 (98 of which have come as a #2 hitter) does provide some historical context, however.

As MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez notes, only eight #2 hitters (including Alex Rodriguez twice) have reached triple digits in RBI. Here’s the list, via Baseball Reference:

Player G Year
Aaron Hill 158 2009
Jay Bell 144 1999
Edgardo Alfonzo 146 1999
Alex Rodriguez 145 1998
Alex Rodriguez 123 1996
Ryne Sandberg 153 1990
Dwight Evans 153 1984
Robin Yount 138 1982
Eddie Mathews 145 1959
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/6/2014.

It makes sense why this doesn’t happen more often: #2 hitters rarely have Trout’s power. Often, they’re high-contact hitters and bunt at a higher rate than anyone else aside from the pitcher in the National League. Even Angels manager Mike Scioscia admits Trout is an atypical #2 hitter. From Gonzalez’s column:

“There’s no doubt this guy’s a multidimensional player. He’s not just a table-setter. I think eventually when he settles into the middle of the lineup and he has [teammates] on-base in front of him, he’ll have the potential to knock in 120 runs.”

Along with the 100 rib-eyes, Trout has a .285/.369/.549 slash line with 31 home runs and 14 stolen bases. While he won’t have to contend with Miguel Cabrera for the AL MVP award this time around, the field is relatively more wide open, as Victor Martinez and Jose Abreu have each put up fantastic numbers themselves. Depending on one’s trust in defensive metrics, Alex Gordon and Josh Donaldson will draw some support as well, among others.

Yankees place Aaron Judge (strained calf) on IL

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — Yankees star Aaron Judge was placed on the injured list with a right calf strain before Friday night’s game against Boston and manager Aaron Boone is optimistic the outfielder will not miss significant time.

The move was retroactive to Wednesday and Boone described the strain as mild after an MRI revealed the injury. To replace Judge on the roster, Thairo Estrada was recalled from the Yankees’ alternate site in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Judge began Friday leading the majors with nine homers and tied with Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon for the major league lead with 20 RBIs.

“It’s something that I think he really wants to try and work through here and kind of wants to be out here and feels like it’s a day-to-day thing which it may very well be, but I just think obviously it goes without saying how important a player Aaron is to us,” Boone said.

Boone had said last weekend’s series on the artificial turf in Tampa Bay took its toll on the 6-foot-7 outfielder.

Judge joined Giancarlo Stanton as the second Yankees slugger to land on the injured list this. Stanton was placed on the IL with a strained hamstring after getting hurt in the second game of last Saturday’s doubleheader.

“We’ve lost two MVP-caliber players,” Boone said. “Obviously that is a blow, especially two guys that playing well as they are right now.”

Judge was pulled for a pinch hitter during Tuesday night’s win over Atlanta and didn’t play Wednesday. The Yankees were off Thursday.

The 28-year-old All-Star missed time during July’s training camp because of a stiff neck.

The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year hit 27 homers in each of the last two seasons, both of them interrupted by injuries. His right wrist was broken when he was hit by a pitch in 2018 and he went on the injured list for two months last year with a left oblique strain.

Judge was diagnosed with a broken rib in March and would not have been ready for the season opener if the season began as scheduled on March 26.